Do Administrative Hearings Require a Lawyer?

I pose this as a question, but the answer is a resounding YES!

I post this because my friend, Chuck Newton, recently posted on a niche practice area for security clearances. And at the bottom of the first paragraph – there was the gem of wisdom that I just had to link too:

If you want to work for or with the military, a military agency or a cleared contractor for the federal government, chances are you will need a security clearance. Likewise, if you work for one of these types of organization you might have your security clearance reviewed or revoked. In any event, if you are denied or your security clearance is revoked you have an opportunity to respond and provide any mitigating evidence. You have a right to administrative hearing. Administrative hearings require the need for a lawyer.

Frankly, I couldn’t say it better myself.  If you have an administrative hearing where you face the prospect of 1) loss of a job, 2) disciplinary action at work, 3) loss or discipline of an occupational license, or 4) loss of any other substantial right, then you need to hire a lawyer, preferably one experienced in administrative law.

Can you possibly get a good result representing yourself in an administrative hearing or disciplinary action? Yes, it is possible. But it is much less likely in my experience than if you, at a minimum, consult with a lawyer well versed in administrative law; even better if it is a lawyer with experience practicing before the agency at issue.


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